Image by RitaE, c/o Pixabay.
Ribbon pastas like tagliatelle, taglierini, pappardelle and fettucine are wonderful with cheesy, creamy and unctuous sauces. Here are a few  recipes that burst out into a summers evening as a trusty supper dish. We make full use of the ribbon pasta as a coating for these sauce types.
in the first recipe, fresh asparagus and peas from the garden would be the most wonderful combination. The herbs in play here are many and varied and reflect what is available from the garden. Ideally, basil should be in this dish at all times but it isn’t always to hand and let’s face it, the dish is enhanced if different herb combinations are used.
The pancetta generates the slightly salty umami flavour we should expect of an Italian dish.
The second recipe celebrates the way a creamy mushroom sauce coats the tagliatelle. It is one of the classic of Italian cooking. We’ve had many variants of the creamy mushroom sauce in Italian restaurants but this one works so well at home.

Tagliatelle (Pasta) with Asparagus and Peas

4 servings

Prep Time: 45 min
Total Time: 45 min


  • 12 ounces tagliatelle OR fettuccine OR pappardelle  (I wont say any pasta but these are exceptional with creamy sauces). In gram terms it should be 75g per person.
  • 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds (about 1 large bunch) of  asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups shelled fresh green peas, blanched 1 minute in boiling water, drained, or frozen peas (do not thaw)
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel to serve as a zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • 1/3 cup fresh tarragon, chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup fresh chiveschopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
  • Freshly grated Parmesan


(1) Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender (al dente) but still firm to bite.

(2) Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

(3) Fry the pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain.

(4) Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the drippings from the pan/skillet. Add asparagus to the drippings in the pan/skillet; sauté 3 minutes.

(5) Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

(6) Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed.

(7) Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl.

(8) Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over.

(9) Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese.

Tagliatelle (Pasta) with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

4 servings

Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min


  • 12 ounces tagliatelle OR fettuccine OR pappardelle as above. In gram terms it should be 75g per person.
  • 2 tablespoons butter chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini or porcini mushrooms sliced
  • ½ cup dry or medium –white wine
  • ½ cup whipping cream or half and half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan or Gran Padano cheese for serving


(1) Exactly the same as for the recipe above. 

(2) Meanwhile, melt the butter with the oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat and sauté the onion until soft.
(3) Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
(4) Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Season these very well with salt and pepper.
(5) Add the wine and cream, simmer for 5 minutes, then add the parsley and check the seasoning again.
(6) Toss the pasta through the sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve.
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